Eldest Study Guide

Eldest

Eldest by Christopher Paolini

Eldest Chapter 46: The Beginning of Wisdom

Eragon decides to visit Arya’s quarters; she is not there but he finds a poem she has written. When she arrives home, he presents her with flowers and his apology, and they reconcile. Arya tells Eragon that her poem is a contribution to bring to the Blood-Oath Celebration, a centennial ritual commemorating the alliance between elves and dragons that first produced the order of Riders, at which everyone must share a creative work.

Glaedr brings Eragon and Saphira to a distant peak and tells them the history of this alliance: it came about to prevent the two races from destroying each other with war. Melding the two races gave the dragons in general language and civilization, and the elves immortality and strength. When humans also became riders their race as a whole also became gentler and stronger, but now, as the dragon population dwindles, both the human and the elves also decline.

The nature of the Rider/dragon bond is a powerful lifelong attachment, beginning when the dragon egg chooses a rider for whom to hatch. When Galbatorix’s dragon was killed, he acquired a second dragon, Shruikan, but their bond is achieved by black magic and is a perversion. Glaedr tells Eragon and Saphira that a dying dragon or Rider needs to separate his or her consciousness from the other in order to allow the other to survive.

Later, Eragon declares that he is sick of the elves’ vegetarian food, and Saphira invites him to hunt with her. He kills rabbits by magic and cooks them, but at the last minute remembers his meditations in the forest and becomes repulsed by the idea of eating meat. Saphira defends her carnivorous ways, and eats the rabbits for him.

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